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Matas’s story

Matas’s story

Online mentoring changed my life. I wouldn’t have been successful in getting my law apprenticeship if it hadn’t been for Gareth, my mentor.  

I wanted to be a lawyer because I’ve always been around legal documents. My family are immigrants and my parents couldn’t speak English well so I’d translate everything. Then in lockdown, I got really into Suits and How to Get Away with Murder and decided I wanted to be a corporate or commercial solicitor.  

But I didn’t like the idea of university; I knew it wasn’t right for me. I find working more fun than studying and it’s great to earn money while learning on the job. It’s more practical and less intense. But they hire four apprentices out of hundreds so I knew my application had to be outstanding.  

My mentor looked at 20-25 drafts of that first application with me. He was honest about where it was bad and told me where I was waffling. He also gave me an insight into what it’s like working in corporate law. It has a reputation for being 90-hour weeks and no life outside of it, but he told me that it’s not always like that, sometimes it’s quiet and you can leave early.  

We did talk about the possibility of uni but everything he said about it reassured me that the apprenticeship was the right route for me.  

Now, we meet up for coffee at work once a fortnight! My experience of mentoring with Brightside has created a great base for my relationship with my current mentor at work. I know what to ask and I can be open about how I learn best.  

All young people should get mentoring. It’s an extra hand of support while you’re going through your A Levels and lots of people don’t have that support. School couldn’t have given me the kind of specialist help my mentor did and I’m so grateful to Gareth. 

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Mentee stories

Elisha’s story

My GCSEs were during the pandemic, so when it came to sit my A Levels, I hadn’t done exams before. It was really stressful. But thankfully, my Brightside mentor gave me lots of good advice. He was reassuring and told me to sit for a minute then do the best I could.  

Khadija’s story

From my perspective, the biggest challenge facing young people today is deciding what career path to go down. Between Year 8 and Year 10 I changed my mine five times; I wanted to be a detective, zoologist, chef, doctor and lawyer.

Caitlin’s story

My mentor was lovely; we bonded over our pets and that made me feel more connected to her. She made me feel calmer about applying via UCAS and the interviews process. It was so easy to talk to her because she’s not much older than me.

Matas’s story

Online mentoring changed my life. I wouldn’t have been successful in getting my law apprenticeship if it hadn’t been for Gareth, my mentor.  

Rano’s story

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer but I was concerned about the workload. My mentor was a working lawyer, so not only gave me advice about my UCAS application and interview questions, but also reassured me that you don’t need to overwork yourself to be successful. He told me about his personal experience of finding balance and saying no, and reminded me how important enjoying your free time is.

Tahmina’s story

If I had to describe my mentor in one word, I’d say amazing. She did the same A Levels as me so she also sent me her notes from Chemistry which were amazing; I’m still using them.